Wilbur and Orville Wright, working out of the limelight, succeed in developing the first heavier-than-air craft capable of carrying a human being on a controlled flight.
This 1870-ish American poem shows us something of the public attitude toward those who were working to build a flying machine during this period.
Surprisingly, small-scale flying machines have been around for centuries. It was not a question of theory, but an engineering problem: finding the right materials and designs to build a craft capable of carrying a human being through the air.
Despite the Liberals winning a landslide election in 1906, the political situation in the UK was turbulent. Liberal constituencies were jockeying for favor. The new Labour Party and the working classes were increasing in power. The women's suffrage movement was getting militant, even violent. And the Irish Question hung over everything.